Geelong Advertiser … where is it?

The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

From the Geelong Advertiser web site:

The Geelong Advertiser is Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper, the first edition being published on November 21, 1840.

A mere 171 years ago today, the Geelong Advertiser included a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue.  The supplement was this amazing “Map of the Town of Corio (or Geelong) including the Suburbs, the Bay, and the River, 1841 … printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner by Harrison & Watkins, Corio”.

And what a huge amount of history is in the map and the names associated with it – not least of which is James Harrison a true pioneer of our region.  [Do yourself a favour and actually click on the link to read the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for this truly amazing man!]

So why am I writing this blog today?  There are TWO reasons …

  1. Today I published a blog to announce that we had achieved more than one million records in our Geelong & District database.  This amazing effort is due to a heap of volunteers who have just one aim – to help others research their family and local history – a totally unselfish attitude by all involved.
  2. I’m CROSS – and it’s time I got on my soap box.

ANYONE with an ounce of history running through their veins knows how much history exists in our region.  I have given presentations all over Victoria and also in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.  Many have been on Geelong and Point Henry (the place of arrival of so many ships bringing immigrants to our shores) but the majority have been on other local and family history subjects.  Without fail the majority of the audience had ancestors who arrived in Geelong / Point Henry.  In June 2011 I gave four presentations to the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory [GSNT] – almost 100% of the audience had Geelong connections!

Using the National Library of Australia catalogue, I have confirmed the following places where people can access the “full” Geelong Advertiser, either on microfilm or hard copy, to do their research:

Of course, being the LONGEST RUNNING morning newspaper in Victoria AND the newspaper covering not just Geelong but all of the western district of Victoria [and across the border into South Australia] you would think it would be a high priority to be included in the wonderful Digitised Australian newspapers web site.

Have a look at this amazing list of places already included in the Victorian newspapers that have been digitised or are on the 2011-12 list to be digitised:

Acheron

Alexandra

Ararat

Avenel

Bacchus Marsh

Bairnsdale

Balaclava

Ballarat

Balmattam

Bellarine Shire

Benalla

Bourke

Box Hill

Brighton

Broadford

Broadmeadows

Bulla

Buln Buln

Callignee

Camperdown

Casterton

Caulfield

Cheltenham

Coburg

Colac

Dalhousie

Dromana

Drysdale

East Bourke

East Brighton

Elsternwick

Eltham

Emerald Hill

Essendon

Euroa

Evelyn

Fitzroy

Footscray

Frankston

Gippsland

Gobur

Healesville

Heyfield

Horsham

Hurstbridge

Keilor

Kerang

Kilmore

Kyabram

Lilydale

Longwood

Maffra

Malvern

McIvor

Melbourne

Melton

Mentone

Merino

Miepoll

Mildura

Mirboo

Mordialloc

Mornington

Morwell

Narracan Shire

Normanby

North Melbourne

Oakleigh

Omeo

Point Lonsdale

Portarlington

Portland

Portsea

Prahran

Queenscliff

Reedy Creek

Ringwood

Rodney Shire

Sandford

Sandringham

Somerville

Sorrento

South Bourke

South Brighton

South Melbourne

St Leonards

Stawell

Strathbogie

Sunbury

Sunshine

Swan Hill

Taggerty

Tambo

Thornton

Toongabbie

Towong

Traralgon

Tyers

Upper Yarra

Violet Town

Wandin Yallock

Warragul

Warrnambool

Werribee Shire

West Gippsland

Whittlesea

Williamstown

Wimmera

Wodonga

Yarck

Yarra Glen

Yea

 

 

So what’s missing?  GEELONG !

If the Geelong Advertiser was digitised this list of places would double as it covers so many towns and districts in Western Victoria.

Verbally we’ve been told that if the Geelong Advertiser was digitised it would gobble up the annual newspaper digitising budget for the State Library of Victoria and that wouldn’t be fair on every other area of Melbourne and Victoria.  But is that fair on Geelong and half of the rest of Victoria?

What pre-1850 Victorian newspapers have been digitised for the NLA site?

  • 1842: Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser
  • 1846: The Argus

And what about 1850-1860?

  • 1855: The Star [Ballarat]
  • 1856: Williamstown Trade Circular and Williamstown Chronicle

That’s it!  The Port Phillip Herald was digitised some years ago and is available [not free] as part of the Paper of Record web site, hence the reason it’s not included on the NLA site.

Did you know that the Geelong Advertiser published lists of people who shipped gold from the gold-fields to the port of Geelong in 1851-54?  We have 6,624 entries in our Geelong & District database for the gold shipments.  In fact our database includes 29,413 entries transcribed from various editions of the Geelong Advertiser on a variety of subjects.

There is no argument … the Geelong Advertiser should be digitised as part of the National Library Digitised Newspapers project.

What can we do about it?

If you look at the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program for 2011-12 you’ll get an idea from the bottom of the page about the funding sources to get some newspapers into the program.  Of course there is no limit to where funding and/or support can come from:

  • the newspaper [Geelong Advertiser] and associates
  • the local council [City of Greater Geelong] and nearby  and western Victorian municipalities
  • private individuals and organisations
  • Federal and State funding including heritage / history type grants
  • other sources for grants / funding
  • petitioning the State Library of Victoria
  • petitioning State and Federal members of parliament
  • contributions from local societies and organisations

I’m an individual – I can’t do it all [apart from working 5-days a week] – but let’s get something moving!

OK – that’s my soapbox all worn out for now – come on everyone, come up with ideas and actions to help get the Geelong Advertiser digitised for the benefit of ALL researchers.

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that some issues from the first five years of the Geelong Advertiser were digitised as part of the Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845 project.  It’s available online as single page downloads however it’s not searchable.

About Susie Zada
It really doesn't matter if it's Local History or Family History [genealogy] - I just love it ... Susie Zada

10 Responses to Geelong Advertiser … where is it?

  1. Frank Golding says:

    A great rant! And entirely justified. Could I suggest you send it to Richard Marles without delay.

  2. Susie Zada says:

    Message just sent on his contact form! And I’m more than happy for anyone to forward a link to anyone you think may help support us!

  3. Liz Pidgeon says:

    Well done Susie, I have often wondered why and when it would appear on TROVE. How about a “letter to the editor” for publication in the GA to get the general community interested.

  4. Susie Zada says:

    Hi Liz, a couple of emails have been sent to relevant journos and guest editorial writers. One idea is to get the Addy to start a subscription fund that people could add to from all over Australia / the world to get some funds built up – I’m definitely warming to that one!

  5. Winter says:

    I’ve ranted about this several times and been given the same reason for it not being digitised – but its a major newspaper with the advantage of covering huge chunks of regional Victoria as opposed to the Argus which mostly covers Melbourne – i for one would be happy to contribute to a fund to get this paper online!
    The disadvantage of course to this paper going online would be that i’d never get off Trove lol

  6. Pingback: Trove and The Geelong Advertiser « nwfhg.org.au

  7. I can confirm that the Geelong Advertiser and the following related titles are currently being scanned by the National Libary under the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program:

    – Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (28 May 1845-26 Oct 1847)
    – Geelong Advertiser (29 Oct 1847-20 Dec 1851)
    – Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (22 Dec 1851-9 Aug 1856)

    We expect that the digitisation process will be completed by the end of the financial year and the newspapers will be available on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home by the end of June 2012.

    • Marjorie Dalvean says:

      Would it be possible to add Geelong Advertiser pages in groups, instead of in one lot? We don’t mind searching the first, say ten years, and then going back for more later.

      • Susie Zada says:

        Hi Marjorie – the papers are normally uploaded a year or 6 months at a time. As we’re only getting about 11 years in this batch I think we’ll be happy with anything they upload. Then we have to start looking to the future and more years to be added … Susie Z

  8. Susie Zada says:

    To say we were all “over the moon” at this news would be an understatement!

    Being very greedy, are you aware of any plans to take it past 1856 and also to fill in the gaps missing from the Ferguson Collection up to 1845?

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